Hearty initiative pumps message

SIX babies are born with a heart defect in Australia every day.

Blake Gordon-Cooke was one of those babies.

Blake was just 19-months-old when he passed away in September last year and would have celebrated his second birthday this week.

His mum and dad Diane and Paull, from Wedderburn, are working to help ensure other families do not have to experience the grief associated with losing a child to heart disease.

They will be selling HeartKids merchandise and promoting the recently launched track Let Your Angel Fly at a stall at Bendigo's Marketplace shopping centre on February 14 for Sweetheart Day.

Celebrated on Valentine's Day, the new initiative is designed to raise awareness of childhood heart disease and raise money to continue HeartKids' work in providing support, advocacy, growing awareness and further enabling research.

HeartKids Victoria support manager Tracy Stanley said instead of buying a gift for their Valentine they could go to the HeartKids website and purchase a virtual gift.

"It could be $20 which is a lollypop, $50 is a box of chocolates and they just get a photo of their virtual gift to explain that Tracy has bought this for Sam and in lieu of a gift the money will come to HeartKids which will help us with our work supporting children and families affected by childhood heart disease," she said.

Ms Stanley said HeartKids was set to benefit from sales of Let Your Angel Fly which is available for download on iTunes.

The song was written and recorded by Melbourne musician John Trager in memory of Blake.

"It's very special to all of us," she said.

"It means a lot, especially to our support team because we had a lot to do with Blake and Paull and Diane.

"He was a very special little boy.

"It's such an amazing thing that John has done, it's great."

Be a sweetheart this Valentine's Day and buy a virtual gift at www.sweetheartday.org.au

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